MassChallenge hosted the Sisterhood of Startups with Exhale Magazine for Women

Exhale Magazine’s “Women in Conversation – The Sisterhood of Startups” event was an impressive gathering of 180 women where Debi Kleiman of MITX led a panel conversation with women who participated in the MassChallenge competition.

Ainsley Braun / Tinfoil Security, Ashley Lucas / Diffuse 5, Dr. Sonia Divney / Zarzatech, Erica Zidel / Sitting Around, Candice Cabe / Day2Night Convertible Heels, Erin Viestra / Zyrra, Stephanie Kaplan / Her Campus Media

The “Women in Conversation” meetups take a story in the magazine and  bring it into a living room style gathering to take the topic into a lively exchange.  They continue Exhale Magazine’s mission to celebrate, inspire and support today’s busy women.  The entrepreneurs featured in the article about the Women of MassChallenge shared anecdotes from their progress in businesses dominated by men, to pitching a product that solves a woman’s problem to a group of men, and how men see business through a different lens.

Every woman who spoke at the event had common themes about her quest to define her business and to define herself in her leadership role.

  • There’s a real need for mentoring among women.
  • There’s simplicity in just asking for help and you actually get it.
  • Rely on life experience along with the power of trusting one’s instincts.  Those instincts proved right for situations ranging from knowing the target customer to knowing how to pitch for funding.

The level of networking among the women in the crowd created quite a vibe and the connections made should create business exponentially.  One of my favorite parts of the night was when a woman in the audience, Emily Benson, stood up to affirm the power of trusting her instincts.  Just having moved her business from NYC to Boston she was anxious to bring her Fashion Truck  to a high-traffic event in New England, but once she saw what the Laconia, NH weekend looked like … well, you get it.  The cool part is that the entire room soon knew about the Fashion Truck.

Exhale is also a startup that relies on advertising and sponsorship revenue to grow.  Thanks very much to our sponsors, New York Life and TaskRabbit.  If you’re a marketer or business owner reading this I’d be remiss not to ask for your consideration to invest some of your marketing in Exhale.

Here’s a link to the article on the Women of MassChallenge.

If you attended the event please share what you got out of it, give props to the woman who inspired you, the woman you want to celebrate and who you want to support.


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